Thyroid Health

A TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) blood test is typically run when your GP suspects low thyroid function. If the results come back below the normal range, a thyroid replacement prescription is given.However, there are more results that are in the normal range, yet, the patient often feels tired and lethargic and the other body systems are not considered leaving the patient with little hope.

What is it?

The last decade has seen an increase in thyroid condition with a number of people still remaining undiagnosed. Located in the back of the neck and butterfly-shaped, it's also a key regulator of metabolism in the body and with receptors on every cell, it produces affecting every major organ in the body. Thyroid problems particularly affect body weight, fatigue, gut health, fertility, depression and hair loss. When a dysregulation of the thyroid is suspected, your GP will run a TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) blood test. The potential problem here is that a clients test results don’t fit within a very narrow range with a standard thyroid panel. The standard thyroid panel usually includes only TSH and T4 which doesn’t tell the full story. Additional markers need to be tested on a comprehensive panel such as free T4, T3 and reverse T3 which will give a lot more detail on what is going on with an individuals thyroid.

Some patients are given thyroid replacement therapy without looking for the underlying cause. In a lot of cases, if you can find the underlying cause, the thyroid will fix itself without any medication. 

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EPIDEMIC

It is estimated that one in 20 people in the UK have a thyroid problem, but that statistic could be much higher with many individuals unaware they have an issue.

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FEMALE PREDOMINAT

An underactive thyroid is also ten times more common in women, but it can affect both genders.

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RESEARCH

Research estimates that up to 80- 90% of all thyroid cases are autoimmune in nature, Hashimoto’s disease being the most common. Furthermore, there are many different for low thyroid function- that don't respond to medication.

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Causes

We can see from the research that up to 90% of all thyroid cases are autoimmune with Hashimotos being the most common. As mentioned, to simply measure thyroid-stimulating hormone will not get to the root cause.

Simply measuring thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is inadequate for getting to the true nature of the condition and for addressing the root cause. Low thyroid function can be secondary to other causes such and these must be investigated for accurate diagnosis and treatment. At the clinic we look at thyroid in a more integrative manner, and its relationship to other hormonal imbalances. Some of these imbalances could be.

  • Hypothyroidism Caused by Pituitary Dysfunction from High Cortisol 

  • Thyroid resistance 

  • Inadequate conversion from T4 into T3  

  • Elevated Thyroid-binding globulin (TBG) causing hypothyroidism 

  • Hypothyroidism Caused by Decreased TBG 

LOW LEVELS

  • Tired and sluggish, lethargic

  • Slow thinking 

  • Weight gain

  • Depression 

  • Weakened muscles 

  • Cold feeling 

  • Poor memory

  • Fatigue 

  • Low Sex Drive 

  • Dry hair and skin

  • Constipation 

HIGH LEVELS

  • Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) 

  • Brittle nails 

  • Increased sweating 

  • Insomnia 

  • Palpitation  

  • Insomnia 

  • Loss of appetite 

Treatments

Stress

As stress has a huge impact on thyroid hormones and pituitary health, this area is a very important area in treating the thyroid. 

Estrogen and testosterone

Measuring these hormones can help you if TBG is elevated or decreased. 

Nutrient Deficiencies

Check for deficiencies, specifically selenium, iodine and vitamin D.

Assess gut health

A combination of stool testing, breath test and organic acids testing to see if any potential pathogens including SIBO, Candida and parasites are causing gut infections contributing to hypothyroidism. 

Diet

A range of nutrient deficiencies can be present in thyroid problems and must be corrected for optimal thyroid health which can done through diet.

Lifestyle

It goes without saying that the choices we make about our lifestyle choices contribute to our wellbeing and our hormone levels.

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